Hidden gem: Gua Musang’s 15th century temple

‘Tokong Swee Nyet’ in Kampug Pulai, Gua Musang, Kelantan has been a place of worship for Chinese settlers who moved to the area about 600-years ago.

These settlers (mainly from the Hakka clan) were in search of fortune from gold deposits found in Sungai (river) Galas.

Their descendants, who have over the centuries intermarried with locals and indigenous communities in the area, still live and work in the area – running rubber and palm oil estates and small businesses in the area.

Kampung Pulai is a hidden gem that my late editor Zainon Ahmad (Pak Non) told me about when I was on an assignment in Gua Musang several years ago, and I have returned here several times after that.

This place has a very tranquil vibe and not many people know of it, as it is a 20-minute drive off the main trunk road between Kuala Lipis, Pahang and Kuala Krai, Kelantan.

I’m not sure which deity the temple in the main square of the village is dedicated to but it is known as the ‘water and moon temple’ (宫月水).

Just across the river, a 10-minute walk along the river next to the square is a cave temple dedicated to the goddess ‘Kuan Yin’.

The Kuan Yin (Princess Cave) temple is across the river

In it is a 12m high state of the goddess carved out of stalactite.

The temple is a protected heritage building but it seems to need repair and restoration – especially the murals on its walls.

These are some pictures of the village taken on the first day of Chinese New Year 2019.


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